Plan to base car insurance costs on Facebook posts hits the rocks

Facebook blocks plans by insurer Admiral to analyse Facebook posts to help lower premiums

Choosing the right insurance for your van

Plans to analyse social media posts on Facebook to help set car insurance premiums by insurer Admiral Insurance have been blocked by the social media site. 

This week, Admiral was going to launch a new service called Firstcarquote which would allow the insurer to analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners and identify personality traits that are linked to safe driving. The scheme, which was said to be voluntary to sign up for, would have offered discounts to drivers deemed responsible by Admiral's in-house algorithm. 

But Facebook has since blocked the efforts to launch the service on the basis that it violates the privacy of its users. It said: "Protecting the privacy of the people on Facebook is of utmost importance to us. We have clear guidelines that prevent information being obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility." 

• Cheapest cars to insure 2016

According to Admiral, users signed up to Firstcarquote would have their posts, not photos, analysed on Facebook by the insurer and responsible traits like using calendar apps to set specific times and places to meet friends and family would be rewarded with lower premiums. Admiral estimated first-time car owners, who pay on average £2,106 for car insurance, could save up to 15 per cent on their premiums via Firstcarquote. 

However, Facebook said it will allow people to use their accounts to log into the Admiral app for verification purposes, but not allow people to view posts for discounts: "Our understanding is that Admiral will then ask users who sign up to answer questions which will be used to access their eligibility." 

Dan Mines, head of Firstcarquote, insisted that the new scheme is not an invasion of personal data: “It is incredibly transparent. If you don’t want to use it in a quote then you don’t have to.”

Average car insurance premiums to pass £700 this year

Mines added: “People share their social data with third parties every day, without any financial benefit to themselves. Firstcarquote asks users to share their data only once and offers them a clear, tangible financial benefit in return.”

“I think the future is unknown. We don’t know if people are prepared to share their data. If we find people aren’t sharing their data, then we won’t ever get to consider that [expanding Firstquote].” 

Would you let your insurer to analyse your Facebook profile for a potentially lower premium? Tell us in the comments below...

Recommended

VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
25 Sep 2020
Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!
Dartford Crossing bridge
Consumer news

Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!

Read our complete Dartford Crossing guide for when and how to pay the Dart Charge, along with guidance on appealing a fine
25 Sep 2020
Should you buy or lease your new car?
Tips & advice

Should you buy or lease your new car?

Should you buy or lease your new car? That is the big question facing millions of people who are eyeing up a new set of wheels, we talk you through th…
23 Sep 2020
Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know

Strict new emissions tests will affect how much company car tax we pay. Here we look at how the system has changed
23 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020